US, Russian lab directors meet in California to plan collaboration

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation (Rosatom) announced the successful completion of the first meeting of the U.S. and Russian laboratory directors since 2004, a step toward improving nuclear security and scientific collaboration.

The two-day meeting provided an opportunity for U.S. and Russian laboratory directors, and representatives of Rosatom and NNSA to craft the next set of steps toward scientific and technical cooperation in areas that include non-proliferation, fundamental and applied research, energy and the environment, and nuclear medicine.

The meeting was held near NNSA’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and included a series of site visits to NNSA’s national laboratories, including LLNL, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia).

Co- led by NNSA Deputy Administrator for Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington and NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Don Cook, the U.S. delegation included the laboratory directors from LLNL, LANL and Sandia.

The delegation from Russia was led by Rosatom First Deputy General Director Ivan Kaminskikh and included laboratory directors from the Federal Research Center of Experimental Physics, the Federal Research Center of Theoretical Physics, the Federal Research Center of Automatics, the Scientific Research Institute of Measuring Systems, and the Afrikantov OKB Mechanical Engineering.

“This meeting lays the foundation for future cooperation in the years to come,” said Deputy Administrator Harrington. “It reflects tangible progress in meeting President Obama’s agenda and his vision for U.S. and Russian cooperation in key areas of nuclear non-proliferation, energy, and science collaboration.”

The meeting introduced a new generation of national laboratory directors and provided the opportunity to identify key areas of mutual collaboration.

“We have taken steps towards lasting and true collaboration in science and technology that begins to connect our scientists together to help solve problems of interest to our two countries,” said Deputy Administrator Cook.

“We are looking forward to a productive collaboration and have identified a number of areas of mutual interest,” said First Deputy General Director of Rosatom Kaminskikh.

The laboratory directors meeting came just days before the U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino began a week-long trip to the Russian Federation.